Notes from a Writer's Desk

If you’re a regular subscriber to my newsletter, then you know already that I often share peeks into my writing life. And by peeks, I usually mean stories of what I’m learning as a writer. Usually, my notes are reflections of what the month has brought me & how I’m moving forward with my words.

As I start to wrap up the school year and say goodbye to my seniors, I’ve found myself in a deeply reflective mood this week. That could also be because I’ve had them turn in not one, not two, but three final reflections over the last week as we finished the year. Reading their responses has not only encouraged me in how I’m teaching, but also in my own writing. Their reflections have opened up their eyes to the year, and shown me just how much they learned, enjoyed, and are thankful for. Now, teaching isn’t all Mary Poppins all the time, and there’s about a third of my students who hated the blogging I made them do, who won’t ever consider themselves readers or writers, and who still see no point in much of what we did.

Despite that thought, I still believe that reflection is good—in every aspect of life—and that’s why I’m learning to pause and look back myself.

Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said that “life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” This week alone, I’ve watched my seniors move forwards in leaps and bounds, much of which I accredit to the fact that I asked them to stop, breathe, and look back on this last year…and these last eleven years. Their blog posts and reflections revealed so much growth and hints of the life to come.

I’ve never been a true journal-er or diary keeper, which might sound strange of a writer. Yet, as I encourage those that I have been charged with to pause and look back, I find myself recognizing how much I have been doing the same recently, especially in my writing life.

At the end of each month this year, I’ve been sitting with my writing goals calendar and jotting down all that I’ve accomplished, which has helped me to recognize the work I’m doing and to be grateful, for what even feels like a tiny bit some days.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
— Søren Kierkegaard

This act of reflection is keeping me going: both with my goals and my writing habit. I’m brainstorming and drafting during lunch which is moving along novel #2 and #3.

Pausing and looking back is helping me move forward.

So, as I move towards summer, settling first into my quiet month (as I’ve dubbed June,) I’m hoping to take just a tiny bit of time to start reflecting a bit more here, on this blog space. I’ll still being sharing secret posts & insights with my newsletter subscribers, but I also want to chronicle more of my writing journey.

One: so I can look back and see how far I’ve come


Two: so I can encourage others to perhaps do the same.

I have lofty dreams this summer: a bucket list of fun, two novels to write, a garden to tend to, an agent to land (aka querying), a new class to plan, a teacher blog to reorganize, and writing organizers to create.

Yet, despite the lofty dreams and goals, I’m hoping that someday, I’ll look back on this first Notes from a Writer’s Desk with a smile on my face & remember, all stories start somewhere.

And maybe, if they’re lucky, I’ll credit some of my stories to my first group of seniors who challenged and changed me.